AC Milan are 90 minutes away from a collapse of the season. Stefano Pioli needs to rally the troops and deliver a win to salvage something in Europe. The crowd in Newcastle will be tough but Milan must show their class and get the result.
Here are some key battles to look out for:
Centre back vs Striker
Fikayo Tomori vs Callum Wilson
Tomori returning to play in England for Milan yet again and he needs to have a big game. He did wonders against Tottenham last year in the knockouts and now needs a repeat performance especially as the only fit centre back in the squad. He will be facing Wilson who is an experienced and clinical striker, he is not a menace but knows how to beat his man well. Newcastle coming off two losses will want to make a statement and turn things around so the Rossoneri must fight to keep it tidy at the back.
Manager vs Manager
Eddie Howe vs Stefano Pioli
The managers will be the key figures in this game and the tactical battle will be played ahead of the game. Numerous injuries on both sides, both teams coming off losses and both teams aiming to extend their presence in Europe either through the Champions League or Europa League in 2024. Pioli with his makeshift defence will be happy to welcome back his startling attack while Howe has key pieces missing across the board but especially in defence and at keeper with a strong midfield. It remains to be seen how either side plays to their strengths but the home crowd should give them a slight edge. The big question is who can break the deadlock?
Striker vs Goalkeeper
Olivier Giroud vs Martin Dubravka
It is unclear if Dubravka or Karius will start for Newcastle. The big win for Milan is that it is not Nick Pope who played an incredible 90 minutes at the San Siro. Giroud is in stellar form over the past month and after a big game against PSG, he can be the one to propel us to an important win. He has been dominant in the air scoring multiple headers and Newcastle are missing Botman. The French veteran is perfectly placed to bail out Pioli yet again and the fans will be expecting him to play a big role given
His pedigree in the competition. He needs to be able to take advantage of the nerves of the backup keeper and give us that edge.